With a week to go before Christmas, European retailers are hoping for some late-Christmas cheer in what has so far proved — with a few exceptions — to be an uneven season for sales.

With most of the region in recession, and the outlook uncertain for next year, consumers continue to watch their pennies, and retailers believe that many are waiting until the last minute to spend. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 49 percent of Europeans believe the economy will be in recession in 2013 and, overall, shoppers feel their purchasing power is declining.

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